Cicely Fox Smith

(1 February 1882 – 8 April 1954 / Lymm, Cheshire)

Pacific Coast - Poem by Cicely Fox Smith

Half across the world to westward there's a harbour that I know,
Where the ships that load with lumber and the China liners go, -
Where the wind blows cold at sunset off the snow-crowned peaks that gleam
Out across the Straits at twilight like the landfall of a dream.
There's a sound of foreign voices - there are wafts of strange perfume -
And a two-stringed fiddle playing somewhere in an upstairs room;
There's a rosy tide lap-lapping on an old worm-eaten quay,
And a scarlet sunset flaming down behind the China Sea.

And I daresay if I went there I should find it all the same,
Still the same old sunset glory setting all the skies aflame,
Still the smell of burning forests on the quiet evening air, -
Little things my heart remembers nowhere else on earth but there.

Still the harbour gulls a-calling, calling all the night and day,
And the wind across the water singing just the same old way
As it used to in the rigging of a ship I used to know
Half across the world from England, many and many a year ago.

She is gone beyond my finding &mdash gone forever, ship and man,
Far beyond that scarlet sunset flaming down behind Japan;
But I'll maybe find the dream there that I lost so long ago -
Half across the world to westward in a harbour that I know -
Half across the world from England many and many a year ago.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, August 30, 2010

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